Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Bad News for Some F-4 Holders/Applicants

with 13 comments

It’s come to our attention that some people that we know have recently tried to renew their F-4 visas and were denied based on the fact that they were born in the U.S. (haven’t heard any problems from other countries but doubt that their cases would be different) when their parents were still Korean citizens.  They were even told that they may have to serve in the Korean military which I believe is total BS (if the immigration officer said that) as they were Americans.  Does anyone know of a Korean-American that was conscripted into the military.  I know that this is not new news but I really doubt that it ever happened.

Anyways, I’ll get into the details once I hear more information but I’m presuming they’re doing this to discourage Koreans from going overseas to give birth so that their offspring can avoid military duties.  From what I understand, it’s only gyopo males that are facing these issues and they were all born in the U.S.  It doesn’t really make sense as they were already issued F-4 visas and working here.  If this law stays in effect (why wouldn’t it though eh?) there’s going to be a major brain drain as many of these visa holders work for major corporations here, not only as English instructors.  One guy told me that the immigration officer implied that he should just come back with an E-2 visa.

I just renewed my F-4 last November and it’s good until 2012.  My parents were Canadian citizens long before my birth so I don’t think I have nothing to worry about.  If my visa does get revoked, I’ll be married to my girlfriend by then and just apply for the F-2:)

If anyone has any experience like this applying or renewing the visa, please let me know your situation.  I think this new law is utterly absurd as it has nothing to do with the actual individual but choices or circumstances their parents were in several years (decades?) ago.

Written by recruiterinkorea

September 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses

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  1. I know giving birth overseas is a huge problem. Not only to avoid military service. It makes it a lot easier for them to get into american schools. Growing up abroad looks nice on the resume, access to student loans and can stay in america after school. Though I’ve heard of some kids who qualified for huge loans, cause their official income is 0. Get tons of aid and grants, come back to Korea after school and never pay it back. Parasites….


    September 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  2. I just got off the phone with the embassy in new york and they told me exactly what you guys are talking about.

    It’s my understanding that the f4 visa is for overseas koreans and their descendants so being denied the visa just because you were born abroad seems to defeat the whole purpose of the visa.

    I might just apply anyway.
    You guys know if this is an actual law?


    October 21, 2010 at 4:08 am

    • Yes it is and it’s ridiculous because they are now rejecting those that are renewing the visa as well. The dangerous thing about applying for it in the U.S. and getting it, is that it may be rejected when you try to get your ARC in Korea. Most Consulates will inform you if you do not qualify but I’ve seen people get the F-4 in the U.S. only to be rejected here.


      October 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

      • So what exactly is the law do you know?

        Does it simply state that American born Koreans are not eligible for the f-4?

        They should really post up some kind of update on the embassy websites.

        What if you were born in the U.S. but your name doesn’t appear on the registry? I would imagine that in that situation you would still be eligible?

        Do you know if everyone in this situation is getting rejected or just some?


        October 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm

      • It is on the website. Sorry I can’t find the exact link right now. If you were born in the U.S. and your parents were not naturalized American citizens at the time of your birth, you cannot get the F-4 visa regardless if your name was on the registry or not. I know of 4 people personally in this situation who have been rejected after trying to renew their F-4 visas. They all had the same circumstance; born in the U.S. when parents were still Korean.


        October 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

  3. Hey thanks for the responses!
    I really appreciate it.
    I think i found the law

    Minister of Justice will not grant Overseas Koreans status in case of occurrence of one of the events set forth below.
    Except for the cases where Overseas Koreans who are subject to the item 1 of item 2 reach at the age of 36.
    1. Where a man with dual nationality who was born in a foreign country and obtained foreign nationality while his immediate ascendant(s) was staying in the foreign country without intent to reside for good renounces Korean nationality to evade military service and becomes a foreigner before January 1st of the year when he reaches the age of 18 under the regulation of the former Clause 12 before reformed Regulation of No. 7499 Nationality Law is enforced.
    2. Where a Korean man loses his nationality and becomes a foreigner by acquiring foreign nationality for the purpose of evasion of military service.
    3. Where granting the status is likely to harm security, maintenance of order, public welfare, foreign relations or other interest of the Republic of Korea.
    [the Clause 5 the Article 2 of Oversea Koreans Law]

    Isn’t it saying that if the parents didn’t have intent to reside in the foreign country then you are ineligible? and not necessarily that if you were born in another country that you are ineligible?


    October 23, 2010 at 5:36 am

  4. By the way do you know anything about the change to F-4 that’s supposed to start kicking in, in January? I can’t seem to find an English version of the law and immigration seems to know about it, but they’re not willing to explain it. They seemed to allude, that you can only renew the F-4 x number of times. Any verification on that?


    October 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    • The law from what I know changed in May of this year or around that time. There’s only 6 spots on the back of my ARC for renewals so perhaps that’s what they meant about the maximum amount of time. I heard that before as well but I don’t know anyone that’s been around that long who maxed out the number of renewals on their card.


      October 26, 2010 at 11:17 am

  5. I received notice that some U.S. born citizens were able to get their f4 visa in Korea recently, like in the past month. Perhaps it’s not really a law but just something they say to filter out applicants?


    October 26, 2010 at 7:35 am

  6. […] finally come to its senses?  Don’t hold your breath.  It seems that there are now more restrictions for F-visa holders and less for E-2s due to some incidents.  Well, I guess we’ll see what happens in the coming […]

  7. the whole law and situation is a piece of crap. youll get a different answer from each immigration officer, they dont know their own laws, and the laws change every second.
    i was forced to leave the country after being denied renewal of my E7 visa, as well as F4 which i never could seem to get successfuly due to me being on the hojuk. so they wouldnt renew my work visa, i was forced to quit my company after 2.5 years working and living in korea. they told me to serve the army service and then i can get an f4, or i can make a korean passport – which if i did that i would have to serve the military, its a damn paradox.

    i was very worried about leaving the country as my visa was expired for 1 week, and they seem to write stuff on your file at the immigration office (try not to piss them off) but luckily i made it out of the airport, after they made me extend the visa to 1 week at the airport immigration. ive heard stories about dual citizens getting caught at the airport and being shipped to the military office.

    there are mixed stories about guys giving up their korean citizenship after age of 18, but it seemed to be a hit or miss thing, and nowadays the laws are getting stricter.

    trust me, its better to handle stuff outside of korea, rather than risk the chance of being drafted.

    -bill (full of resentment towards korean immigration laws)


    May 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

  8. (in march) the immigration officer on the phone also told me that if you are dual citizen, the new law states that you may only use your korean citizenship in korea ONLY, meaning you cannot use your US passport to at the aiport, and must make a korean passport to enter/leave the country. ( who would do that???)

    The immigration officer at mokdong told me the new law now forbids dual citizens to apply/renew a E7 work visa, meaning they must only use their korean citizenship in korea. i imagine this applies to teaching visas (E2?) as well, please take note of everything before you think about taking a job there and you did not/could not renounce your korean citizenship.

    the last days i was in korea i was hiding as an american on a tourist visa. luckily my american passport name is not linked to my korean name and number on the hojuk. but of course im not able to legally work on a tourist visa.

    goodluck y’all


    May 25, 2011 at 12:31 am

  9. I’m an American citizen by birth but my mother was and still is Korean. (My father is not and never was Korean.)

    However, my mother’s father changed his Korean citizenship. Can I get an F-4 visa through my grandfather, even though my mother still has Korean citizenship? If not, will the fact that she was still Korean when I was born be an issue?


    December 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

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